My Bird Won't Step Up : (

A lot of macaws come to us, unable to step up. I ask how people move them around and many of them just put their hands around the birds back and pick them up. Or they lean against the cage and the bird climbs on their shoulder. I had a customer that would wheel the play tree to the cage, the bird climbed out on it and then she wheeled the bird through the house. We teach them to step up. Are you working with a food reward? Almonds and walnuts are usually important enough to the birds to step up for. One of our most popular methods is to place a perch on the inside of the door. Then we offer the walnut or almond, through the bars, when the bird is on that perch. Not on that perch? We put the nut in our pocket and walk away. Once that is really reliable, every time you approach the cage with or without a nut the bird will run over and stand on the perch. Then you open the door and give the nut. After a few days of that, you put your other hand between the bird and the hand with the nut. It usually works well, once the bird is on your hand, give him lots of nuts and attention. Have you tried using some other kind of perch to step onto rather than your arm? I've used wood perches and rope perches (mostly for my protection). I had a lady eclectus that was unpredictable (what other kind are there?) and used a folded rope perch to transport her much of the time. I got really tired of the bites - just couldn't predict when she would bite and when she would step up like a proper lady. Sometimes she would raise the foot and then bang.

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